“We need art to really look at things.”
We are drawn to it by colour and texture and patterns. It is beautiful but it is garbage.Kim Sargent-Wishart
These are the words from former Warrnambool artist Kim Sargent-Wishart who was setting up her latest exhibition at the F Project Gallery on Monday.
Her images have been collected in the past three years from parks and beaches surrounding Warrnambool.
“It’s all trash photographed where it was found,” she said. “I didn’t move anything.”
Ms Sargent-Wishart, who has been experimenting with photography since she was a child, said the exhibition was a chance to expose a problem we live with in our day-to-day lives.
“The title ‘Trash and Treasure’ for me captures the both/and quality of the trash,” she said. “That it is garbage and at the same time it’s beautiful.”
“I’ve tried to capture the aesthetic interest of each piece,” she said.
“I was drawn to each image because I liked the texture and the colour and the patterns that I found in the litter.”
Ms Sargent-Wishart said this form of observation comes from her studies in the contemplative form of photography referred to as Miksang.
“It is the practice of how you see things,” she said. “It highlights the richness that was there all along and we didn’t notice.”
Miksang is photography in which we the camera is used to express visual perceptions exactly as we experience them. Miksang means ‘Good Eye’ in Tibetan.
“It’s like the trash and treasure store, it depends on how you look at it,” Ms Sargent-Wishart said.
“I was originally taking the photos for myself but decided to have the show to highlight how littering and pollution is such a problem.
“We tend to overlook this stuff because we don’t see it, so part of the exhibition is to bring visibility to the trash we’ve made.”
Part of the irony the Bellarine resident said she discovered, was in the packaging itself.
“Some of the wrappers use the word ‘natural’,” she said.
“Whatever was inside would have been consumed in minutes but the packaging will last forever.
“Even the message on the packaging is ironic, you see the image of the bins and the words ‘think twice’.”
Trash and Treasure, the things we leave behind will be at F Project Gallery from February 14 to March 11.